Biden Suspends Trump’s Last-Minute Oil Drilling Leases in Arctic Refuge

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Biden Suspends Trump’s Last-Minute Oil Drilling Leases in Arctic Refuge” – below is their description.

    The Biden administration is suspending Arctic refuge drilling rights that were sold in the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency, dealing a victory to environmentalists who have argued for decades against oil development in the remote, wild region of Alaska.

    Under an Interior Department order issued Tuesday, the agency is temporarily halting action on nine leases spanning more than 400,000 acres (161,870 hectares) of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, while it conducts a fresh environmental analysis of the program.

    The department’s Bureau of Land Management will review the potential legal deficiencies and environmental impacts of the Jan. 6 sale of oil leases in the refuge. Just two oil companies and an Alaska economic development corporation participated in buying the right to explore for oil and gas on tracts in the refuge’s coastal plain during that January auction.

    White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy called the move “an important step forward fulfilling President Biden’s promise to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”

    President Joe Biden vowed to permanently protect the refuge during last year’s campaign, and on his first day in office issued an executive order directing the Interior Department to review Arctic refuge oil development decisions by his predecessor. But his administration has defended a separate Trump-era decision to greenlight a massive ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. oil development in the National Petroleum Reserve — a top priority for the state’s Republican congressional delegation, including senior Senator Lisa Murkowski.

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